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手机游戏泡沫期编辑本段回目录

对我来说,2013年的主要盛事当属手机F2P似乎达到了一个颠峰。

事实上,King在2013年的上市传言几乎人尽皆知但最后却并没有付诸实现,而两三年前置身于付费游戏榜单前列的主流公司(例如Rovio)却都败下阵来,转向了F2P领域,也许更不妙的消息就是本季的CPI达到了移动设备上F2P游戏的最高峰值(8美元以上)。

但目前这个高峰是属于局部还是全局现象(例如之前的网络泡沫)仍然有待观望。

bubbles(from globalresearch.ca)

bubbles(from globalresearch.ca)

Oscar Clark(Applifier倡导者)

我从来就不信奉什么“高峰”论调……虽然无法完全否认当前的F2P“懒惰/贪婪”本质。

所幸F2P与调整和适应有关,所以我们将看到那些可能不会到达收益“峰值”,但却有可能带来更具可持续游戏发展经济的新变革的到来。

Teut Weidemann(育碧在线专家)

一个市场如果还处于扩张时期怎么可能达到高峰?

Ben Cousins(DeNA欧洲游戏工作室主管)

在多数估值甚高的公司仍然没有什么收益或利润时,互联网怎么可能“繁荣发展”?

Harry Holmwood(AQL Europe首席执行官)

繁荣发展的是估值而非利润/收益。也可以说我们又重蹈覆辙了。我们面临的最大问题是在这个行业中,我们无法预测性地复制成功神话,只能展开“比竞争对手更舍得花钱”的军备竞赛。

Martin Darby

当风投数量超过了市场规模时,所谓的“繁荣发展”不过是泡沫,不是吗?

Ben Cousins

它更普遍称为“泡沫”,原因就在于它是投机泡沫。手机游戏公司所使用的估值与其数倍的收益真的是同一回事吗?我不这么认为。

Eric Seufert(Gamefounders导师)

但从基于非理性的热情所导致的不现实估值角度来看,我并不认为我们看到行业实现了“繁荣发展”。King打算从IPO筹资50亿美元,这是其2013年收益的10倍。Supercell出售其股份时的销售额为7.2亿美元,而其30亿美元的估值仅为这一销售额的4.2倍左右。这并不是什么“繁荣发展”。

Netscape上市首天的市值为37亿美元,或者说是其1995年收益的112倍。

这是一个投机泡沫。

Rob Fahey

Ben说得很对,手机游戏市场目前还没有什么投机泡沫。我们在过去两年所看到的估值完全符合企业估值的一般模式,这与网络泡沫时代的情况截然不同。

我认为那些会说这种估值很“疯狂”的人通常是来自科技领域和尚未完全摸清手机游戏市场潜力的传统游戏行业评论员。

当然,你并不需要会爆炸的泡沫。真正的繁荣发展(游戏邦注:Rob在此指的是收益和收入的增长,而非资产价值的疯狂膨胀)也可能爆破——例如,1983年地时候没有什么特殊的资产价值泡沫预示着游戏行业的崩溃。所以手机游戏行业的资产价值在2013年达到非泡沫的高峰也似乎合情合理。市场饱和或用户喜好的转变也可能改变行业广告,产生新科技或社交趋势,或者庞大的经济转向。

我们可能在2014年看到一个趋平或下降状态,或者又一个发展年。我只能说,个人认为从目前的指示情况来看,后者的可能性更大,但我并不认为这种发展比得上2013年——虽然有所减缓但绝不会是暂停或下滑。

Ben Cousins

Rob,你有什么数据可以证明这种有所减缓的预测?

Rob Fahey

这只是我凭当前情况做出的一种预言,但确有不少证据让我相信这个方向。

首先,CPA的急剧增长就是一个方面。它蚕食了不少成功企业的收益,并抬高了后来者的成功门槛,令市场新晋公司受挫,导致现成的公司考虑采用新渠道和新平台。我还担心行业对此的一个广泛反应就是采用更激进的盈利策略,而这会导致用户不快。

其次,我们在发达市场已经出现了第一波智能手机普及率的消耗点。而像中国这类市场仍然前景乐观,印度则几乎刚刚开始起跑,但在发达市场已经领先了5年,新智能手机普及率的自然发展已经在下降。苹果和三星销量仍在增长,但这对内容供应商来说并非实实在在的喜讯,这些手机现在大部分取代了其他智能手机,所以当前的可行市场发展速度并没有那么快。

第三,我发现了App Store收益在2013年极端迅速的上涨,这有点令人担忧。这在我看来像是一个泡沫——当任何市场的用户迅速转向极高的消费行为时,通常都会有几个月时间消费水平急剧缩水,之后才会再度实现更可持续性的增长水平。这可能不会发生——我们还没有足够的App Store消费数据来支持这个观点,但这的确是一个风险因素。

最后,这与第二点相关——我每天都会在地铁东张西望,总会看到人们盯着手机上的游戏或电子书。我并不认为电子书读者(通常更为年长)会在不久的将来开始玩游戏。也许不少DS或PSP用户会开始玩手机游戏,但现实一点来讲,这个市场的多数发展通常是来自那些喜新厌旧的用户。日本已经到达必须循环用户而非吸引新用户的一个拐点。我想其他市场距此还有很长一段距离。

这自发展曲线的一个自然曲折点——这并不意味着我们做错了什么,只是说明我们正在接近符合逻辑的市场规模局限性。这些局限性多为隐形墙,我担心的是你会像对数据的信仰一样重视这些局限性的存在。

Harry Holmwood(Marvelous AQL Europe首席执行官)

目前的挑战就是收益摆在那里了,但我的担心却是大家投入多少钱来实现这些收益。随着用户获取成本上升,收益本身已经不足以作为公司表现的基准了。你可以很快用5美元出售原价10美元的笔记本来创建销售额达价值10亿美元的公司。

我们相对可靠的衡量方式就是结合利润翻倍增长,了解公司复制早期/当前成功案例的能力,及其当前/原有资产可持续成功的时间长度。

这些领域都存在已经潜力无限的公司,互联网“繁荣/泡沫”vs当前状态并非一种直接的对比,但如果认为当前的估值并不包含一种良好的衡量方式那就是错误的想法。

Eric Hautemont

Harry真是说到我的心坎里了。

如果你不想用互联网泡沫做对比,那就想想社交领域过去两年发生的情况吧(例如Facebook游戏)。花钱实现收益总让人们蠢蠢欲动,但通常都没有好下场。

我认为CPI接近到达到一个峰值:其价格可能会暂时高升,但我相信它可能会像是人们事后回忆中的一种失常状态,而不是类似于互联网时代的那种CPC和类似的广告价格。

至于估值问题,没错,数倍的收益(未必是利润)看起来并不像是互联网时代全盛时期那么疯狂。但我们可以想象这些收益究竟多具可持续性,以及它们崩溃的速度有多快(比如Zynga)。我们事后再回顾时,可能就会觉得这些付出的代价完全是投机性的,时间会证明一切。

另外还要认清,Supercell估值可能完全不具说服力。我倒是更担心处于第二梯队的私募公司估值,我怀疑其中许多公司可能已经在艰难地以同去年相同的代价来筹资——甚至是难以筹资。

Teut Weidemann

“首先,CPA的急剧增长就是一个方面。”

我们获取用户的方法可不只有一种。大家的思维太狭碍了。

“其次,我们在发达市场已经出现了第一波智能手机普及率的消耗点……这些手机现在大部分取代了其他智能手机,所以当前的可行市场发展速度并没有那么快。”

这里仍然是数十亿的用户市场。我们与智能手机市场不同的时,我们才刚突破10亿用户。

“第三,我发现了App Store收益在2013年极端迅速的上涨,这有点令人担忧。”

这听起来很奇怪,一个市场中的消费行为怎么会是泡沫的标志呢?App Store的收益与整个苹果收益相比还是很少,更何况我们现在要竞争的是全世界的游戏市场。所以在我看来这不足为惧。

“最后,这与第二点相关——我每天都会在地铁东张西望,总会看到人们盯着手机上的游戏或电子书。我并不认为电子书读者(通常更为年长)会在不久的将来开始玩游戏。”

这是一种错误的统计方法。我们有证据表明智能手机/平板电脑用户会在家而不是通勤路上玩游戏。

对我来说,除非全球所有13岁以上的用户都有智能手机,这个市场才算是饱和了。F2P已经有10年发展历史了,它始于亚洲,征服了欧洲和美国。但仍然有很长一段路要走,目前还看不到终点。

Emily Greer(Kongregate联合创始人兼CEO)

我的确不认为关于CPI的故事真有那么有趣。互联网CPA有好几年均价为2-3美元,网络和手机游戏LTV似乎也相当接近。CPI有可能也会达到相似的水平。一款游戏的CPOI会比平均LTV更高吗?当然,但这在互联网领域也是如此。我们在将来也许会看到用户终身ARPU的幂次法则。一款游戏可支持付费UA的平均LTV要远高于我们所看到的CPI。

但是我还是认为普通小型开发者也能够推出一夜成名的好游戏已经不再是一个可行的战略。大型热作需要资本,而这就需要你拥有足够强大的公司(例如King),或者已经从VC融资(例如Supercell),或者需要与发行商合作。但前面两种情况并不适用于普通开发者,所以我们认来年会出现发行商模式的复兴。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,Eroc Hautemont(Days of Wonder首席执行官)

[Gamesbriefers] Is mobile gaming in a bubble?

By Gamesbriefers on April 9, 2014

Continued from a conversation published earlier this year: what was the biggest gaming event in 2013?

Eric Hautemont CEO of Days of Wonder

For me the main event of 2013 was that F2P on Mobile likely hit a peak.

The fact that King almost floated but didn’t, that the guys who were top of the pack in paid games 2-3 years ago (Rovio) have all but thrown in the towel, transitioning over to F2P, and perhaps more ominously reports that CPI hit $ 8+ this season all point to a peak in the F2P mania on Mobile devices.

Whether this peak is a local one or an absolute one (à la dot.com boom and bust) remains to be seen.

Oscar Clark Evangelist for Applifier

Never been a fan of the ‘Peak’ concept… although in terms of the current ‘lazy/greedy’ flavour of F2P perhaps I can’t entirely disagree

Fortunately F2P is all about adaptability so we will see better evolutions coming which may not get the ‘peaks’ of revenue but have a chance to deliver a more sustainable game development economy

Teut Weidemann Online Specialist at Ubisoft

How can a market peak if it still expanding (aka iOS sales)?

Ben Cousins Head of European Game Studios at DeNA

How could .com have had a ‘boom’ when in that case most of the high valued companies were making neither profit or revenue?

Harry Holmwood CEO of Marvelous AQL Europe

The boom was in valuations not profits/revenues. It could be argued we’re there again. The biggest problem we face as an industry is our inability to predictably recreate success stories, other than by playing the ‘outspend the competition’ arms race.

Martin Darby

The “boom” was the bubble, when the amount of available venture capital exceeded the size of the market. -right?
Ben Cousins1Ben Cousins Head of European Game Studios at DeNA

It’s rightly more commonly called a ‘bubble’, because it was a speculative bubble. Is the valuation of mobile games companies using perfectly normal multiples on revenue really the same thing? I don’t think so.

Eric Seufert Mentor at Gamefounders

But I don’t think we’re seeing a “boom” in terms of unrealistic / frivolous valuations based on irrational enthusiasm. King is reportedly trying to raise $5BN for its IPO, which is 10x 2013 revenues. Supercell was on a $720MM run rate when it sold, meaning its $3BN valuation was only 4.2x. These aren’t “boom” multiples.

Ben Cousins Head of European Game Studios at DeNA

Correct, Netscape revenues were $33 million (negative 10 million net income) in ’95 pre-IPO.

The offer price for the IPO valued the company at $1.4B or 42x 1995 revenues. Almost exactly 10x the Supercell multiple.

During the first day’s trading Netscape’s market cap was at $3.7B or 112x 1995 revenues

That’s a speculative bubble.

Rob Fahey

Ben is quite correct to say that there is no speculative bubble in the mobile games market right now. The valuations we’ve seen in the past couple of years are perfectly justified by standard models for company valuation, which is a complete contrast with the dot.com era.

I think the narrative which says that these valuations are “crazy” in some way is coming from commentators both on the tech side and on the traditional games side who haven’t yet grasped the actual scale of the mobile game market.

Of course, it should go without saying that you don’t need a bubble to have a bust. A genuine boom (growth in revenue and income rather than just wild inflation in asset prices) can also go bust – there was, for example, no particular asset price bubble foreshadowed the games industry’s former crash in 1983. It remains plausible that mobile gaming has hit a peak in 2013 even without any bubble in asset prices. Market saturation or a turn in consumer sentiment could turn the direction of the graph; the emergence of a new technological or social trend, or an unfavourable macroeconomic headwind, could turn it dramatically.

We could see levelling off or a downturn in 2014, or another year of growth. I’d say the indicators favour the latter, personally, but I wouldn’t expect the growth to match 2013 – a slowdown but by no means a halt or a decline.

Ben Cousins Head of European Game Studios at DeNA

What data is leading to your expectation of slowdown Rob?

Rob Fahey

Well, this is all crystal ball gazing, faith and divination from chicken-guts at this point in time, but there are a handful of things that push my thinking in that direction.

First and foremost, the incredibly rapid rise in CPA is a concern on two fronts. It eats into the income of successful companies and sets the bar for success incredibly high, discouraging market newcomers and leading existing firms to consider new approaches or new platforms. I’m also concerned that one widespread reaction will be to adopt more aggressive monetisation strategies, which could cause consumer fatigue.

Secondly, we’re reaching the exhaustion point on the first wave of smartphone adoption in developed markets. Places like China are still incredibly exciting and India is barely out of the starting blocks, but in the developed world we’re five years into this and the natural growth from new smartphone adoption is tailing off. Apple and Samsung are still seeing sales growth but that’s a false friend to content creators; the vast majority of those phones are now replacing other smartphones, so the addressable market isn’t growing all that rapidly.

Third, I actually find the extremely rapid uptick in App Store revenue in 2013 slightly worrying. It feels a touch bubbly to me – when consumers in any market switch to very high-spending behaviour rapidly, there’s often a bit of a hangover a few months down the line where spending drops back sharply before hitting a more sustainable level of growth. This may not occur – we don’t have enough nitty gritty on the App Store spending data to really tell, but it’s a risk factor.

Finally, and this is related to the second point – I look around on the subway every day and see everyone with their nose stuck in either a game or an ebook on their phone. I don’t think the ebook readers (generally older) are going to start playing games any time soon. Maybe the handful playing DS or PSP games will start playing mobile games; but realistically, most of the growth in this (admittedly very developed) market is going to have to come from people putting down Puzzle & Dragons or Hay Day and picking up something new. Japan’s already at the point of needing to recycle users rather than attract new ones, then, and I doubt other markets are terribly far behind.

That’s a natural inflection point on the growth curve – it doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong, just that we’re hitting logical market size limits. Those limits are largely invisible walls though, and where you think they exist is as much a matter of faith as of data, I fear.

Harry Holmwood CEO of Marvelous AQL Europe

The challenge right now is that the revenues (clearly) are there (which often they were not in the dotcom bubble), but my concern is how much money is chasing these revenues. As user acquisition costs rise, revenues alone are not a good enough barometer of performance. One could build a billion dollar turnover business in no time by selling $10 notes for $5.

The way we can (relatively) reliably gauge value is a combination of profit (not revenue) multiples, an understanding of a company’s ability to recreate earlier/current successes and knowledge of how long current/existing properties can continue to be successful.

There are companies that are showing potential in all of those areas, and dotcom ‘boom/bubble’ vs current state of affairs is not a direct like-for-like comparison, but it would be wrong to think that the current valuations don’t include a good measure of wishful thinking IMHO.

Eric Hautemont CEO of Days of Wonder

Harry perfectly captured what I was trying to say.

If you want a non dot.com comparison, think of what happened in the social space (i.e. FB games) in the last couple of years: buying revenue is always a dangerous temptation and it usually ends badly.

I do think CPI are close (in time, not necessarily in price) to having hit a peak: the price may temporarily go much higher still, like a short squeeze; but my bet is it will look like an aberration in retrospect, not unlike what happened to CPC and similar ad prices during the dot.com era.

As for valuations, yes the multiples on revenue (not necessarily profit) don’t look as crazy as during the heydays of the dot.com. But one can wonder how sustainable these revenues are, and how quickly they could collapse (Zynga anyone). In retrospect, prices paid may look completely speculative; time will tell.

Also to be clear: Supercell valuation might prove to be completely sustainable. I’d be way more concerned about private valuations of second-tier players, many of whom I suspect would already have a hard time raising money at the same price as they did a year ago – or even hard-time raising money, period, in today’s environment.

Teut Weidemann Online Specialist at Ubisoft

“First and foremost, the incredibly rapid rise in CPA is a concern on two fronts.”

There is more than one way to aquire users. People are thinking too narrow.

“Secondly, we’re reaching the exhaustion point on the first wave of smartphone adoption in developed markets. … the vast majority of those phones are now replacing other smartphones, so the addressable market isn’t growing all that rapidly”

Still a couple of billion people to sell to there. Much more than have smartphones there, we just beat a billion.

“Third, I actually find the extremely rapid uptick in App Store revenue in 2013 slightly worrying.”

Thats odd, how can spending in a marketing mark a bubble? The App Store, even tiny compared to Apples’ revenue, is still competing now with the total games market world wide. No worries for me.

“Finally, and this is related to the second point – I look around on the subway every day and see everyone with their nose stuck in either a game or an ebook on their phone. I don’t think the ebook readers (generally older) are going to start playing games any time soon”

Wrong method of statistics. We have proof that the smartphone & tablet gamer plays at home, not on commute.

For me, unless everyone above 13 has a smartphone on earth, there is no end to this. F2p is 10 years old, started in Asia, conquered Europe and now USA and RoW. Still a lot to go, no end in sight.

Emily Greer CEO and co-founder at Kongregate

I really don’t think the CPI story is all that interesting. Web CPAs have averaged $2.00-$3.00 for years and the LTVs for web and mobile games seem to be fairly similar: it’s to be expected that CPIs would rise to similar levels. Are the CPIs higher than the average LTV for a game? Yes, but again that is also true in web, and again to be expected in a situation where there is a power law distribution of lifetime ARPUs. The average LTV of a game that can support paid UA is quite a bit higher than the CPIs we’re seeing.

However I do think the consequences are interesting in that it makes it obvious to the average small developer that lightning striking on a good game to make it a huge hit is not a viable strategy anymore, if it ever was. A big hit will take capital, which you will need to have available from an existing strong business (like King), already raised from a VC (like Supercell), or need to partner with a publisher. Since the first two are not available to the average developer I think there’s going to be a big resurgence in the publisher model over the next year.(source:Gamesbriefers


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